Western Australia's coastal areas from Mardie to Ningaloo, including Exmouth and Onslow, should prepare for Tropical Storm Iggy, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, using data provided by NASA's Aqua satellite.
The ABM also issued a cyclone watch east to Port Hedland and south to Coral Bay after the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument aboard NASA's satellite captured a true color image of tropical storm Iggy.
Classified as a "Category two" cyclone, the ABM said Iggy will have wind gusts of 130 kph (~81 mph), and forecasters expect Iggy to become a category three storm on January 28.
The Joint Typhoon Warning Center, which expects storm Iggy to continue, strengthening on its approach to the Australian coastline because of low wind shear and warm waters, has forecasted that Iggy's center will be very close to Learmouth on January 30 and 31 before turning to the southwest and heading back to sea.
NASA's animated infrared satellite imagery showed a slight cooling of cloud tops in Iggy's main band of thunderstorms, located west of the center which means that the strength in the storm is increasing and pushing those cloud tops higher in the atmosphere. Higher cloud tops mean stronger thunderstorms within the tropical cyclone, they explained.
Data from the satellite revealed that at 1500 UTC (10 a.m. EST) on January 27, Iggy's maximum sustained winds were near 55 knots (63 mph/102 kph). The tropical storm force winds extend 115 nautical miles (132 miles/213 km) from the center, and it is about 230 nm (~265 miles/426 km) in diameter. Moving slowly to the south-southwest, toward Western Australia's Pilbara coastline, tropical storm Iggy was centered about 270 nautical miles (~311 miles/500 km) northwest of Learmouth, Australia, near 19.1 South latitude and 110.7 East longitude.
The ABM advised residents to plan ahead for weather emergencies, giving tips to be storm-ready. In its website, the ABM gave the following tips:
• Take the time now to choose the best shelter within your home or office.
• Try to choose a small interior room or stairwell, ideally with walls reinforced with pipes (eg. bathroom) or concrete (eg. basement), on the lowest floor of the building.
• Make sure everyone concerned knows where to go and what precautions to take (see table below). Also, choose a meeting place where your family can gather after a severe storm, to ensure that you are all safe and accounted for.
• Maintain an emergency pack with battery powered torch and radio, tools for emergency repair, food supplies, first aid, blankets and extra clothing.
• Keep your car fuel tank full, in case petrol stations close down after a storm.
• If a severe thunderstorm warning is issued consider precautions such as bringing livestock to shelter, putting away loose objects like garden furniture and parking vehicles under cover.
• Listen for weather updates and watch the skies. Keep calm, bring children and pets indoors and close all windows and doors. When the storm approaches be prepared go to your shelter.
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